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Holiday Gifts for Basketball Fans

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Looking for a present for that basketball fan on your shopping list? The NBA's new-look jerseys arrive just in time for Christmas. (Convenient, huh? It's almost like they planned it that way!)

Or, check out one of several new books on the Knicks, the hottest NBA simulation video game, fully-customizable sneakers, the 25th anniversary edition of the greatest basketball movie ever made... or buy tickets to a game (and keep one for yourself)!

1. Adidas BIG COLOR NBA Gear

Courtesy NBA/Adidas

The NBA teams that take the court on Christmas Day will have a new look from the Adidas' BIG COLOR line - jerseys and shorts in bold, glossy colors, with accent colors used only to set off the numbers, names and logos.

That same gear could also make a debut under your Christmas tree, as the entire line is available now from NBA.com and at sporting goods retailers.

2. The Complete Illustrated History of the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks - The Complete Illustrated History
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New York's improbable hot start - the Knicks are an NBA-best 8-1 as of Thanksgiving - will have fans more excited about the orange-and-blue than they've been in years. Luckily, it has never been easier to find a gift for the Knicks fans; several great books about the team hit the presses this year. Start with The New York Knicks: the Compete Illustrated History (compare prices) by Alan Hahn. Hahn - who served as the team's beat writer for Newsday before taking a job as a pre and post-game analyst on the MSG Network - tracks the history of the team - from its inception in the 40s to the championship teams of the early 70s to today - in a beautiful large-format "coffee-table" book loaded with pictures and profiles of key players and personalities.

Combine it with Hahn's other holiday offering, 100 Things Knicks Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (compare prices), or Harvey Araton's celebration of the Willis Reed/Clyde Frazier/Pearl Monroe team, When the Garden Was Eden (compare prices).

3. Basketball Gear from Point Three Hoops

FREE - Sleeveless Shooting Shirt with DRYV®
Courtesy Point Three

When I play ball, I sweat like Patrick Ewing on a humid day. I'm not ashamed to admit it. (Well, actually, I'm a little ashamed... but whatever.) And wiping one's hands on a sweaty t-shirt or shorts before shooting is counter-productive.

The Point Three line of basketball gear solves this problem by embedding absorbent material into shorts or shirts, giving players a way to keep their hands dry while playing... a deceptively simple concept that helps more than you might think.

Point Three offers a complete line of shirts, shorts, cold-weather gear and shooting sleeves. They have a "wish list" function on their official web site; if you enter their contest on Facebook, you could win everything on your list.

4. NBA 2k13

NBA 2k13
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The top-selling basketball sim, this year's edition was executive-produced by legendary rapper (and part-owner of the Brooklyn Nets) Jay Z. Versions are available for just about every game system under the sun, from the PS3 and XBox 360 to Nintendo's Wii and Wii U to iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

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5. Hoosiers: 25th Anniversary Blu-Ray Edition

Hoosiers Blu-Ray 25th Anniversary Edition
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Generally regarded as one of the best - if not the best - basketball movies of all time, Hoosiers was re-released on Blu-Ray this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of its theatrical release. And yes, that makes me feel terribly old.

The disc includes some sweet extras, including video of the 1954 Indiana state championship between Milan and Muncie high schools - the game that inspired the movie.

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6. Tickets to March Madness

Georgia Dome
Getty Images / Kevin C. Cox

A trip to a game makes an excellent gift... and every basketball fan should experience March Madness in person at least once. The 2013 tournament will make stops all over the country, from Philly to LA and Salt Lake City to Austin before the Final Four arrives at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

The ticket lottery for seats at the Final Four is long over, but good seats should still be available at most of the regional sites.

7. Custom Basketball Shoes from NikeID

I wouldn't want to get basketball sneakers - or any sort of shoes, really - as a gift. For "personal style" reasons and the need to get the right fit, shoes are something I generally buy for myself. But the NikeID system presents a unique opportunity for gift-giving... buy your loved one a gift card and let him or her customize their very own pair of kicks.

Incidentally - my son loves making his own designs with the configuration tool...

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